It can affect your hearing, make you feel out of balance, and just make you feel downright miserable.
With plugged ears, your eustachian tubes — the pathways between your middle ears and the back of your nose — become obstructed. As a result, your eardrums can’t vibrate normally, so sounds are muffled and you may also have ear pain … Plugged ears typically last from a few hours to several weeks — depending on the cause — and usually go away without treatment. When treatment is needed, doctors focus on getting air to flow into the eustachian tubes. Source
I used to get clogged ears all the time, and it would drive me nuts until I found a few home remedies that would alleviate the symptoms and often clear up the problem altogether.
I like to treat health issues naturally whenever possible.
Here’s how to clear a clogged ear yourself — naturally:
#1 – Yawn
Here’s why: Yawning (even if you don’t feel like you have to yawn) redistributes the fluid in your ears. So if want to know how to clear a clogged ear that isn’t due to lots of ear wax — just yawn.
The most effective clogged ear remedy for cold and allergy is drinking a lot of warm water throughout the day. Yawning at frequent intervals can also be quite helpful … Yawning is the easiest way to adjust your plugged ears. Source
#2 – Take A Hot, Steamy Shower
Here’s how: After your shower, remain in the steamy bathroom for at least 10 minutes. The steam helps unclog your ears.
Inhaling steam is one of the simplest ways to get rid of clogged ears resulting from a cold. The steam will help thin and loosen the mucus, which in turn will give you relief from clogged ears. Steam can also help loosen earwax causing clogging. Pour hot steaming water in a large bowl. Add a few drops of tea tree oil or lavender essential oil to it. cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam slowly until the clogged ear opens up. Source
#3 – Mix Hydrogen Peroxide & Water For Your Ear
Here’s how: Fill a bowl with hot tap water (or boil water and let it cool). Then add either an equal amount of hydrogen peroxide or a lesser amount to the water. Lie down on your bed with a towel around your neck to catch any of the drips. With an ear syringe, pour some of the water & hydrogen peroxide mixture into your ear. Leave it in there until it stops fizzing. Then sit up and tip your head so your ear is against the towel. This will drain any wax and fluid out of your ear.
#4 – Chew Gum
Here’s why: Your jaw’s chewing motion can loosen whatever is in your ear (particularly wax) and helps move it out of the inner ear canal.
Sucking a piece of hard candy and chewing gum are considered as the easiest possible natural remedies for clogged ears. These actions reduce pressure and help activate the muscles that open the Eustachian tube. This method is highly beneficial when dealing with changes in barometric pressure. Source
#5 – Make Rubbing Alcohol & Vinegar Ear Drops
Here’s how: Combine equal amounts of alcohol and vinegar in a very small bowl or bottle. Put 2 or 3 drops of the alcohol/vinegar mixture into your clogged ear.
Try placing a bit of rubbing alcohol in the ear using an eyedropper. Allow the alcohol to remain in the ear for a minute or so and then tilt your head to drain it out. The alcohol can dissolve solids that may have collected in the canal and may also help disinfect inflamed portions of your ear. Alcohol can also allow fluids to more readily evaporate and can help to break surface tension by blending with whatever fluids you may have up there. Source
#6 – Pop Your Ears
Here’s how: Pinch your nose and blow. According to an ENT Physician’s Assistant, you should do this 20 times a day for 3 days to unclog your ear naturally.
Pinch your nose shut, inhale a mouthful of air and close your mouth. Blow gently as if trying to blow your nose until you hear a pop. The popping sound indicates that your ears are unblocked. You may have to repeat this step several times until your ears are completely unclogged. Source
#7 – Drizzle Warm Olive Oil In Your Ear
Here’s how: Put 1 to 2 drops of warm olive oil in your ear canal and keep your head tilted in such a position that it won’t drip out. Leave it in for 15 minutes — or longer. Finally, flush your ear with an ear syringe using warm water. This method also helps if your ear is painful.
#8 – Make Garlic & Oil Ear Drops
Here’s how: Heat some cooking oil with a small piece of garlic cut into 2 pieces. After it cools, remove the garlic pieces, then put 2 drops of the liquid into your clogged ear. Garlic is a natural antibiotic so it will help to prevent infection — and the warm oil will help to relieve the discomfort and hopefully unclog your ear.
More Tips For How To Clear A Clogged Ear
The home remedies for clogged ears listed above are the ones I’ve personally tried. But if you’re still interested in researching more about how to clear a clogged ear, consider these tips:
- A Neti Pot can also be used to relieve a clogged ear. Here’s a video showing how to do it.
- Ear candles may work for some, but they’re not the most highly recommended method for clearing a clogged ear. In fact, you may be playing with fire!
- Sudafed tablets and other decongestants can be helpful when you’re trying to figure out how to clear a clogged ear… fast.
- Certain essential oils can be used to clear clogged ears as well.
Here are several more home remedies for clogged ears — recommended by others who’ve dealt with the same problem.
The Bottom Line
Personally, I’ve found that #3 above — the hydrogen peroxide/water mixture — is the most effective way to get my ears unclogged. That’s the remedy I use every time I have a clogged ear.
If you try one or more of the remedies listed here for clearing a clogged ear and you don’t get any relief, then you should see your doctor — because it could be a more serious infection or problem within your inner ear.